Beer 511

Exploring Craft Beer and Homebrew in Peru (Country Code 51) and the USA (Country Code 1)

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Gilman Brewing (Berkeley, CA)

Over the weekend I stopped in at Gilman Brewing, on Gilman St, in Berkeley.

The space is fairly cozy. One is greeted by the taproom immediately upon entering, in a small, low-ceiling foyer, leading onto a passage backed by a long standing bar pushed up against the backside of the fermenters.  However, above there is a two-level deck overlooking the brewhouse, with a selection of tables and bar stools.

Off to one side there is a game room, with corn-hole, and -I think- a fussball table.

It was my first time there, and the staff were very helpful in steering me toward good beer selection

s for my flight.  I tried  (clockwise from top center, in the picture above) La Ferme Noire (dark saison with brett, 7.7% abv), Old Rusty (Belgian golden strong, 8%), Pineapple Jardin (Belgian golden sour, 5.8%), Cheval de Fer (limited-release dry-hopped Belgian saison, abv not specified), and Fuzzy Dice (hazy IPA, 7%).

I liked all the beers, but I was kind of rushed and didn’t take notes, so I can’t remember details of all of them.  Fuzzy Dice was good, I do remember that.  So were Cheval de Fer and Old Rusty, but, for me that day, the real standouts were the two sours.

Le Jardin is a kettle sour, which means that it was soured with lactobacillus before the wort was boiled.  It is dry, and mildly tart, not puckeringly sour, which makes it a good “gateway” into the world of sour beers.  That it was then fermented with Belgian yeast strains adds pleasant complexity to the flavor -some citrus, stonefruit, ….  It is no wonder that I liked it, as I am partial to both, sours and Belgian-styled beers.

Pineapple Jardin is Le Jardin with the addition of a half-ton of fresh pineapple per batch. So, take what I said above about Le Jardin and picture that with the sweetness and tartness of pineapple, with loads of pineapple flavor on top of that, and you’d be getting the picture.

 

 

Gilman Brewing Co.
912 Gilman St.
Berkeley, CA

gilmanbrew.com

 

Online Book: “The Beer Market in Peru”


The Beer Market in Peru (January 2018, 42 pages), an analysis of the Peruvian beer market published by the Lima office of the Flanders Investment & Trade agency.

Autumn Beer Tasting at Anchor

About a week and a half ago, took advantage of invitation to attend an Autumn Beer Tasting Session led by Dane Volek, Anchor’s Pilot Brewer at Anchor Public Taps.

Up until now Anchor’s tap room has not been generally open to the public, and the only way to taste Anchor beer at the brewery was to attend a special event or manage to grab a hard-to-get spots on a tour.  Anchor’s new taproom, Anchor Public Taps, changes that by being open 7 days a week and offering pretty much all of Anchor’s beers on tap to the public, hence the name “Public Taps”.

Located just across the street from the main Anchor brewery itself on Potrero Hill in San Francisco, Anchor Public Taps also houses Anchor Brewing’s 7-bbl pilot brewery, which produces many beers offered only on tap, and only at Anchor Public Taps. In addition it also hosts Anchor’s growing barrel-aging program, including some “funky” barrels.

Volek led our group through a line-up of four beers that “you would want to drink on an evening in the Fall”.

These are my notes from that night on each of the beers:

Blood Orange Blonde
orange prominent in the nose, some hop aroma.  light body, gold to light-amber in color  not much maltiness or bitterness, slight fruity sweetness lingers on the palate

Fog Breaker IPA
citrus and pine hoppiness in the nose  Pine and citrus bitterness in the mouth   gold in color, light body and mouthfeel  bitterness lingers

Third I
triple IPA  9.3%    fruitiness in the nose: citrus and then … strawberries!   Marked strawberry character in the flavour as well.  Hop bitterness is attenuated by the sweetness.  The sweetness lingers on the palate, leaving a sharp bitterness as it fades. Very interesting beer.

Coffee Porter
Pronounced coffee notes in the aroma and taste.  Coffee, roast, and hop bitterness balanced by malty sweetness.

In addition to those four, Volek threw in a few additions and surprises.

The first of these was a Märzen, of which we got serve ourselvesdirectly from the sampling port on the fermenter.   Next, the group was able to taste a brown ale that had been fermenting for only 24 hours.  It pretty much was like tasting unconverted wort –which is, in fact, what it was.

Finally, we got a preview taste of this year’s Merry Christmas and Happy New Year beer and a sneak peek at the label and packaging.

Produced afresh each year from a different recipe, and with a different image of a tree on the label, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year changes from year to year.  This year’s version –which goes on sale in November– is less robust or roasty than previous years’ versions. Less like a stout and more like a barley wine, but still with some spice character: coriander, cloves, …

Pacha Cerveza Artesanal’s “Piel Roja”

Today I am offering my impressions of Piel Roja from Pacha Cerveza Artesanal. This bottle was given to me by Pacha’s owner and brewer, Adrián Calle, during my visit to the Red Cervecera Perú’s brewpub in August, and I’ve been saving it cold until now.

Piel Roja is an 40 IBU, 6.5% abv, India Red Ale, a style also known as a Red IPA. It is a deep copper or light brown, somewhere in the range of 18-20 SRM.  The name of the beer, Piel Roja, which in English we’d translate as Redskin, is an allusion to the style and color of the beer.

Upon pouring hop and citrus  aromas waft out of the glass even before it is put to the nose.  The white foam subsides quickly but is easily rousted again.  Lacing present when the glass is swirled, but it doesn’t hold for long. That said, my bottle was appropriately carbonated,

Upon savouring, maltiness and hop bitterness are the first impressions, followed by a light roastyness.  It is a medium-bodied, mildly dry beer. Grapefruit and pine notes last in the mouth beyond the latest sip.  Piel Roja is a solidly done, enjoyable brew.

Weihenstephaner Braupakt Hefe Weissbier

Braupakt is a collaboration brew between Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, considered the world’s oldest extant brewery, and California craft-brew pioneers, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.  Braupakt, in fact, literally means “brewing pact”.

Released in the US this past Spring, Braupakt is a limited-edition brew.  (I am reviewing a sample bottle I received from the PR company.)

Braupakt is  a light amber, 6% abv, ~35 IBU beer.  It is somewhat hazy, as befits a wheat beer.

Poured into the glass it immediately raised a beautiful cream-colored rocky head, but the beer itself is not aggressively carbonated.  I got coriander and in the nose upon first approach, and some peach, with banana emerging a bit later in the aroma.   At the end there is a distinct malt aroma.

In the flavor, meanwhile, I detected peach, bananas and cloves, with some floral characteristics emerging as the beer warms. I’m thinking: violets, or perhaps roses.

Braupakt has a bit more hop bitterness than I might have expected in a German hefeweißbier.  The beer is brewed with German Hallertauer hops and finished with the very-American Amarillo and Chinook hops.  While all that might turn off some style purists, I think that in Braupakt it harmonized pretty well.

I found Braupakt to be in fact quite lovely and, I think, worth checking out.  And, you should look for it now, as it is likely to be a one-off.

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